April OMG: 60-degree scrap quilt

Hmmm …. so much for the progress photos on this project which I promised in my last post 😦 Sorry ’bout dat …

So today I’m here to make good  – and just in time for the end-of-the-month deadline. 🙂

I think I’ve finally made enough triangles for this project – they’re not all sewn together into rows yet (I still have the bottom three rows to complete to that stage), but I just laid them all out on the bed for this photo, and have even ended up with some spare triangles (which I can put to good use in the backing).  Here’s what it looks like so far:

DSCF9585 cropped

(It’s pretty bright and busy, isn’t it?  I might have to wear sunglasses to bed … 🙂 )

There’s a bit of reorganizing still to do (those two yellow strips right next to each other in the bottom row need to be separated, for example), and maybe some swapping between the leftover triangles and what’s laid out here, but I’m very happy that I achieved my goal.  I didn’t quite get to the flimsy stage, which would have been a bonus, but my primary aim was to make enough triangles, and I’ve definitely done that! 🙂

OMG button

I’ll be joining in with all the other finishers at Heidi’s OMG April link-up party at Red Letter Quilts (thanks for being such a wonderful host, Heidi!) – I see there’s a great variety of completions there already!

 

Advertisements

Most Glorious Autumn Day!

It sure has been a Most Glorious Autumn Day here today 🙂  And, even better, I got to enjoy it at home 🙂 🙂  Stepped outside onto the verandah this morning, and couldn’t resist taking a few photos of my confused clematis, half of which seems to know it’s autumn, while the other half seems to think it’s spring …

DSCF9575 cropped

 

DSCF9564 cropped

DSCF9580 cropped

(D’ya like the spider web? 🙂 )

 

 

 

 

 

So, apart from taking those photos this morning, I’ve been working on my April OMG – the 60-degree triangle scrap quilt – and having lots of fun putting it together.  I’ve realized I’m going to need more triangles than I thought, but that’s OK, it’s not as if there’s a shortage of scraps around here 🙂  Luckily Monday is a public holiday (25 April is Anzac Day in New Zealand and Australia), so I’m going to get a four-day weekend to work on it rather than my usual three, which is good news given that the end of the month (and therefore the OMG deadline) draws nigh …  I also have to make a few more circle blocks for the Quilty 365 project – I’m a bit behind on that one again as well.

So, you’d think with all that ‘work’ to do, I wouldn’t have wasted any time getting on with it … but I did:   I’ve just spent the last hour or so playing on the computer!  It was quilt-related playing, however, so I think I can be forgiven, yes? 🙂  A member of the Facebook One Block Wonder group to which I belong posted a week or so ago about a website which shows you how your fabric might look as a one block wonder design – so this afternoon I thought I’d check it out, and oh, I did have fun!  I used some scans of fabric in my stash and ‘created’ OBW designs using the programme, and then saved the designs as snapshots, together with the scan of my original fabric – here are a few examples to show you what I mean (original fabric at the top, OBW design below):

Possible OBW 1 Possible OBW 2 Possible OBW 3 Possible OBW 4 Possible OBW 5 Possible OBW 6

Interestingly, some beautiful Australian fabric with lovely aboriginal designs which I bought in Brisbane last year,  and which I trialed with my special mirrors at the time and was sure would make a fantastic OBW, turns out sort of … meh … but you may not agree …

Aboriginal fabric OBW

I’ve previously used my Kaleidoscope Kreator programme to get an idea of what some fabrics will look like as OBW designs, but I think this programme is easier and better, especially the option of being able to save your design as a snapshot together with the original fabric.  I can see a few more hours being wasted put to good use with this one! 🙂

And with that, it’s time to prepare my evening meal and then settle back into some more sewing – progress photos will follow at some stage over the weekend 🙂  Have a good evening, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress, of one form or another

It’s been a great weekend weather-wise in this neck of the woods, with mild autumn temperatures and no rain (although there is some forecast for tomorrow).  I mowed my lawns this morning and also moved a supply of wood onto the verandah to be close at hand for the coming week – it’s been just a little bit nippy-skippy in the mornings and evenings in the last couple of weeks, and I’ve lit the fire (log burner) quite a few times at night to keep Henry Lee more comfortable inside … 🙂  Despite the coolness in the air, I think autumn is probably my favourite time of year:  I love the beautiful light in the mornings and evenings, which makes for great photos of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ … 🙂

I’ve been making good progress on my April OMG, and am really enjoying this month’s project (yay!!).  On Friday I beavered away creating more triangles and filler rows, until I had this nice little supply ready by yesterday morning:

DSCF9555 cropped

Being the impatient are-we-nearly-there-yet sort of person that I am, I decided this was enough to at least make a start on construction of the first row … so I took the two largest triangles (as per the instructions posted here), and sewed them together:  ta-da!

DSCF9556 cropped

(Those of you who were paying attention to my last post will have noticed my use of some of the Kaffe Fassett fabric I discovered, I’m sure … 🙂 )

And after that there was no stopping me!  So by the time I went to bed last night I had two rows completed:

DSCF9559 cropped

(… not to mention a few neck and shoulder aches and twinges as well … 😦  But it was definitely worth it!)

So this morning I thought I’d ease up on the sewing and do some chores outside first of all (hence the lawn-mowing and wood-moving efforts), and then after lunch I settled down to make some more circles for my Quilty 365 project, as I have totally neglected them so far this month. It was fun using some more of the Kaffe Fassett fabric (I had specially put some aside from the strips, ‘cos I knew I’d get some great circles out of it), and I’ve now caught up to where I’m supposed to be with them – 108 circles on Day 108 🙂  I did have a bit of an issue with the fusible stuff I’m using now, though, with the fusible (ie, sticky) layer detaching from the paper while I was marking and cutting out the circles to iron on to my fabric circles … no idea why, maybe because I’ve had it sitting around for about a year?  It has no label with it nor any instructions, so I’ve just assumed it’s the same stuff and followed the procedure I used last month – it seems to be doing the job OK so far, and the circles will be sewn down in due course, so it shouldn’t be a problem.  How sad it is that I have to go to work again for the next four days, when it’s all going so well!  Never mind, next Monday is a holiday here in New Zealand (Anzac Day), so that’ll give me another good run at both projects 🙂

I’ve spoken before about how much I appreciate what the libraries in Christchurch provide for their readers – one of the things I enjoy is their various blog postings, eg about book recommendations, special interest items and library events, and their school holiday programmes (in the school holidays starting tomorrow, for example, they’re running sleepovers at the libraries for children’s toy animals, with photographs to be taken and posted of the shenanigans the toys get up to when they’re ‘left on their own’ at night – sounds like a lot of fun to me!).  They also post about important anniversaries, and one of their blogs last week caught my eye in particular.  It was headed up, “First National Council of Women, Christchurch 1896”, with this photograph (courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington):

National Council of Women, Christchurch 1896

It was a world first – a national meeting of women who could vote in parliamentary elections.   (Note that on 19 September 1893, after two decades of campaigning, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant the right to vote to all adult women – a number of prominent suffragettes of the time were members of the group in this photo.)

Their aim was to ‘unite all organised Societies of Women for mutual counsel and co-operation, and in the attainment of justice and freedom for women, and for all that makes for the good of humanity’.

Over the course of the six days of that first meeting they passed a number of resolutions, including:

  • the need for minimum wages
  • the conditions of divorce for man and women be made equal
  • the private ownership of large tracts of land, and these kept locked up by absentees, is a wrong inflicted on the people, and is detrimental to progress
  • the abolition of capital punishment
  • the continuation of the present system of free, compulsory, and secular education, and the expansion of technical education
  • that women be eligible to serve on all juries
  • a system of Old Age Pensions, or Annuities, should be established

Incredible to think how far ahead of their time these women were with these resolutions – and how much progress we have to thank them for.  I’d like to think that I would have been part of the suffragette movement had I been alive at that time – but I’m not sure I would have had the courage and determination to keep fighting in the way they did:  thank you, ladies! 🙂

 

 

Buried treasures in my stash …

Between my current April OMG project (a 60 degree scrap quilt) and my Quilty 365 project (requiring a block with a circle each day for a year), my need for scraps is at a premium at present.  Which necessitated a fossick – a dig deep – a treasure hunt through my stash for scrap supplies.  And oh, lookee, lookee what I found, buried deep in a container:  Kaffe Fassett strips!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

DSCF9547

They’re each about 6″ deep by width of fabric, and I have no idea where I got them from, nor how long ago … I suspect it might have been from Colleen at Thumpacat Fabrics (based here in New Zealand, up in Nelson), who always has some great scrap/offcut/end of bolt/ $1 a piece grab bag bargains, with the added bonus of free postage in NZ, PLUS she always throws in a little “bonus bit” with every purchase – it’s just a wee scrap of fabric, but the last one I received was little cat drawings, so that went down very well 🙂  I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics, so rich and colourful (and expensive, which is why I don’t buy metres and metres of it at a time!), so these will be put to very good use in both projects.

I’ve been beavering away on my 60 degree quilt almost non-stop for the last two days, so much so that a few aches and twinges are occurring in my neck and shoulders 😦  Luckily for me, Melanie McNeil at Catbird Quilt Studios posted about The Comfort Zone just yesterday, including a very handy AQS link to ten exercises to keep quilters loose and comfortable:  which couldn’t have been timed better 🙂  (Thanks, Melanie!)  So I’m taking it a little bit easier today, but I thought I’d share a few photos to show you what I’ve got made so far:

DSCF9550

On the bottom row are my constructed triangles, all different sizes and all made by combining two or more fabrics.  One of the fun things about this project is that there are no rules on how big or small your triangles should be, it’s just whatever feels right to you – very flexible!

On the top row are some ‘filler strips’ on the left, which will be used to fill the spaces when I come to sew together triangles of different sizes; and on the right are single-fabric triangles of varying sizes, which will provide ‘breathing spaces’ at intervals between all the busyness of the constructed triangles – you know, sort of like punctuation in writing … 🙂

DSCF9552

Hmmm, that’s quite a pile of triangles – but there are a few more to make yet!

It’s a beautiful sunny day today, which means I should be outside enjoying it, but … there’s quilting and fabric stroking to be done inside!  I’ve just worked out that on my current work schedule (4 days a week) I only have 97 working days left until I retire at the end of September – woohoo!   🙂 🙂  And there has been a suggestion that there may be an opportunity to reduce my hours further before then, so it may even be fewer than 97 – oh, frabjous joy!

Right, time for a cuppa and then back to the sewing table – hope your weekend is going well!

 

 

 

 

Now, what shall I do for my April OMG?

I’m determined that this month’s OMG will lift my spirits, after the struggle I had completing my March project …  I want something bright and cheerful, interesting, engaging, not too taxing, and definitely something that will be fun to do.  That’s not too much to ask, is it?  No, I don’t think so either 🙂

So, I’ve been looking on Pinterest for ideas, flicking through my quilting books, checking my computer files of quilt photos, and reading other quilters’ blogs.  And that’s where I came across this:  a blog post about a scrap quilt project that looks right up my alley!  Laura Sapko posted about her 60 Degree Quilt project on her Painting with Thread blog – and when I saw her beautiful scraps, and checked the link to the tutorials from Kim Brackett’s Magnolia Bay Quilts blog that inspired Laura, I was hooked as well.  I love making scrap quilts, and these 60 degree scrap quilts are lots of fun – after just two days of having a go, I can see why I was warned about it being addictive! 🙂

My goal for April is to gather up as many of these as possible …

DSCF9546

… and turn them into these …

DSCF9543

(And if I manage to get as far as getting to a flimsy stage, all the better!)

I’ve also discovered another benefit from this project:   more scraps that I can use for my Quilty 365 circles – what a bonus!

Linking up with Red Letter Quilts here for my April OMG – once again, there’s a great selection of projects there for you to have a look at!

Hey-ho, hey-ho, it’s off to scrap I go … 🙂

OMG button

 

 

 

Quilty 365: March circles

Thank goodness for this project, which helped me retain some sanity in March while I struggled with my OMG project (you can read about that here).  This circle thing is fun, serious fun, and I’m so glad I decided to be part of it 🙂

Here’s what I created for the mad month of March:

DSCF9531 cropped(Hmmm – lots of big (and little) yellow and orange circles there – trying to talk myself into a sunnier frame of mind to get over my funk with the OMG project, perhaps?)

There are a few circles I particularly want to highlight.  My younger sister has been in my ear about my lack of “African circles”.  (Given that we were both born and raised in Zimbabwe, and both of us have a great stash of African fabrics.  I have to say she’s done much better at using her African stash than I have – the majority of my African stash is still nestled pristinely in two large bags labelled “Possible Out of Africa Project 1” and “Possible Out of Africa Project 2” – you know what it’s like when you have this beautiful fabric that you just love so much you don’t want to cut it up?  That’s me …)

Anyway, this month I bit the bullet and made some “African circles” – here they are picked out, all in a row:

DSCF9538 cropped

And I love them!  I think the feet one is my favourite … so far, anyway – because I’m sure there will be more of these in the months ahead 🙂

And the other circle I wanted to highlight is the one I made for the last day of the month, 31 March:

DSCF9537 cropped

Isn’t she beautiful?  Jersey cows have featured in my life from way back when.  I think I’m right in saying that I was actually named after a Jersey cow (or was it a calf?) my parents used to have in the UK, before they emigrated to Southern Rhodesia in 1949; and at the age of 2 or 3, I featured on the front page of the daily Rhodesian newspaper with my older sister, as we got up close and personal with a Jersey cow at the Salisbury Show in the early 1950s – here we are:

Salisbury Show

With Father being a vet, and given that he used to do a lot of  “PD work” (standing for pregnancy diagnosis – I think?) for dairy farmers far and wide, it was fairly certain that each year when we went to the Salisbury Show, a visit to the dairy sheds was always part of our visit, and the Jerseys were always our favourites.  Many years later, my folks started their own Jersey herd, as did my sister (she of the picture above) and brother-in-law, who farmed next door:  and this circle from 31 March was specially made for that particular brother-in-law, who loved his Jerseys and whose birthday was yesterday – many happy returns, A! 🙂

I’d also like to add that this was another successful attempt at printing onto fabric on my home printer – love it that I can do this!  I had to laugh when I was searching via Google for a suitable photo of a Jersey cow, though – even though I specifically searched for “Jersey cow image”, I was also offered images of frogs, chickens, goats, Friesian, Ayrshire, Hereford and Highland cows, lions (what the heck???), dogs, a leopard, doves, teddy bears, a car, and a cowboy on a horse!  Didn’t quite get to the elephant stage, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if one had turned up sooner or later … 🙂

I’ll be linking to the March link-up party for Quilty 365 when it’s available – I think Audrey must still be working on completing her March circles … although to be fair, March might not actually be over yet in her neck of the woods … 🙂

Quilty 365

Update – here’s the link to the March link-up party! 🙂